Stamp Duty Holiday: How Can Buyers Take Advantage Before it Ends?

As well know The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, imposed a stamp duty holiday in July 2020 which will run until the 31st March 2021. Although stamp duty holidays are not new, this announcement was made in unprecedented times as a tool to kick start the economy back into action. Before Rishi Sunak revealed the stamp duty holiday at the start of July, buyers had to pay stamp on all homes that sold for £125,000 or more. The plan that came into force immediately has meant that buyers will have to pay zero stamp duty on properties under £500,000; benefiting around 90% of buyers in England.

Although stamp duty has been a significant success, it has created an almost perfect storm in driving up demand which may mean thousands of buyers throughout England may miss out. But why is that the case?

The introduction of the tax break has proved incredibly popular, with rates of transactions and the average house price increasing significantly throughout the Summer and early Autumn months. But the sheer success of this tax break in driving buyers has caused delays to the home buying process as estate agents, surveyors and solicitors deal with the backlog of enquiries. If this level of demand continues throughout the coming months, this could see some buyers miss out on the deadline of 31st March 2021. Due to the possibility of thousands of buyers missing out on the up and coming deadline, industry organisations and businesses throughout the UK have urged the Chancellor to extend the stamp duty holiday to avoid further disappointment next year.

While we wait to hear what the Chancellor has to say about extending the stamp duty holiday, how can you ensure you are in the position to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday?

Start The ‘Chain’ as Soon as Possible

As we are all aware, selling your home or buying a new one can take months from the first placement on the market to finally exchanging keys. For those looking to sell their current property to move to a new home, it is recommended you instruct a conveyancer at the time of first going on the market, to prepare a sale ready pack and get the process underway as soon as possible. It is essential to remember selling or buying a home can be a complicated and drawn-out chain of back and forth between estate agents, solicitors and both parties. Starting this chain as soon as possible and ensuring everything is done correctly will hopefully smooth out any discrepancies, ultimately allowing you to complete the sale as quickly as possible.

Although buyers and homeowners want to complete the sale of a property as quickly as possible, you need the process to be completed in the correct manner with no cutting of corners. To ensure everything is completed correctly, buyers and sellers should ask their solicitor to copy them into all correspondence with third parties so that you can spot any mistakes that may have slipped under the radar.

Choose the Right Agent

Choosing the right estate for any sale is necessary in ordinary circumstances. When trying to complete the sale or purchase of a property to meet a specific deadline, the need to find the estate agent for you is exacerbated. Luckily for homeowners and buyers today they are treated to a vast array of both online and high street estate agents, so finding the right one to meet your specific needs has become easier than ever before.

Unfortunately buying or selling a house isn’t as simple as choosing which loaf of bread you want from the supermarket. Completing the sale or purchase of a property requires a combination of factors to align perfectly to ensure the smooth completion of a transaction.

In today’s market, the factor holding most people back is the speed of the sale of their own home. As delays should be expected, if you are looking to sell your house fast to ensure the complete purchase of a new property, online estate agents today provide homeowners with a service high-street agents cannot compete with. With most online-estate agents offering specialist fast sale services, homeowners are provided with the chance to sale their property in a matter of days and most importantly, at a fair price.

Formalities

One final and straightforward way to speed up the process is to get all the formalities in order as soon as possible and also assemble copies of essential documents to save you looking for them at the last minutes. These include:

  • A copy of the lease (if the property is leasehold)
  • Documentation related to the freehold (if the property is freehold)
  • FENSA certificates for replacement windows
  • Your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Relevant building restrictions
  • Building regulation certificate when alterations have taken place
  • A Gas Safety certificate for a new boiler